What Hamster Lives The Longest?

Are you thinking of getting yourself a little hamster pal? That’s great! But a question may cross your mind: how long does a hamster live to know whether this pet will be suitable for you or not. A hamster relies on its owner for its daily care. So, getting an insight into the lifespan of a hamster can be helpful in knowing how long you will have the responsibility to care for your small pet. 

To help you out get the answer to your queries, in this article we will cover the average lifespan of a hamster, factors affecting their lifespan, tips to extend their life expectancy, and other similar topics. So, let’s get started.

What Hamster lives the longest

Average Lifespan Of A Hamster: What Hamster Lives The longest?

An average life span of a hamster is around 2 to 3 years at most. However, this is just the average lifespan, there are many instances where hamsters have outlived 3 years and many do not even reach a year. In the wild, most of the hamsters do not even make it to their first birthday as we all know how many predators they have got.

The lifespan of a hamster varies between different breeds. If we talk about Roborovski Dwarfs, they have the longest lifespan of around 4 years. On the other hand, Chinese Dwarfs live the shortest with a lifespan of under 2 years. 

As per Guinness Book of World Records, the longest living hamster was of Tyne & Wear, United Kingdom, who was 4.5 years old. However, there is no mention regarding the species of that hamster.

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If we look at the data scientifically collected from zoos, it was claimed that the maximum lifespan of a striped dwarf hamster is 5.3 years, whereas a Syrian hamster lived 3.9 years. 

On doing some research on the internet, you’ll come across some anecdotes of people claiming that the oldest living hamster is a Syrian dwarf who lived for around 6 years.

So, we can say that there can be some hamsters that have lived longer than the research shows, but their owners have not officially reported it. 

Average Lifespan Of Various Hamster Species

There are various species of hamsters and each has a different life expectancy. However, there is no exact number when it comes to the lifespan of a hamster. But, by knowing the average lifespan, you can have an idea of how long you can expect your little pet to survive. This can help you decide, which hamster breed you should pick as a pet.

So, here are the life expectancies of some popular breeds of hamsters that people usually pet:

BreedLife Expectancy
Roborovski Hamsters3-3.5 years
Syrian Hamsters2-2.5 years 
Campbell’s Dwarf Hamsters2 years
Chinese Hamsters1.5-2 years 
Winter White Russian Dwarf Hamsters1.5-2 years

Factors Affecting The Lifespan Of Hamsters

When it comes to the life expectancy of a hamster, there are numerous factors that influence its lifespan. It can be the genetics that they inherit from their parents, illness, environmental factors,  quality of care, lifestyle, etc. 

However, you need to know that some of these factors are out of your control and some can be managed by you to extend the lifespan of your pet hammy.

Factors like:

  • Species,
  • Genetics,
  • Illness,

are some of the factors that you can’t control.

For instance, if your Roborovski hamster suffers from an early onset of diabetes, then there are chances that it may not live more than 2 years, even if you give it a precise diet and special care. However, without any illness, it might have lived for more than 3 years. 

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In addition to this, there are some factors that you can have control over. These factors can help you extend the lifespan of your little pal:

  • Diet
  • Exercise
  • Excellent care
  • Proper housing
  • Cleanliness
  • Stress-free living conditions

Increasing Your Hamster’s Life Span

Diet And The Life Expectancy Of A Hamster

The diet of a hamster plays a crucial role in increasing its lifespan. As per the research of scientists, if hamsters are fed, either a low amount of fats and proteins or high levels of fats and proteins, then their life expectancy turns out to be the longest. 

In addition to this, after the hamster is six weeks old, an increase in its fat intake can help it to live longer.  So, you should include 5% to 20% of fat in your hamster’s diet along with high-energy foods like peanuts, sunflower seeds, etc.

Some research shows that omega-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids intake can reduce the risk of cardiac diseases in hamsters to a great extent. Fruits, vegetables, grains, a little bit of meat, as well as eggs are great sources of  omega-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids for hamsters.

For a hamster to remain healthy, 5% of fiber and 15% of protein intake is also necessary.

Digestive Issues And The Life Expectancy Of A Hamster

Most of the hamsters are prone to digestive problems that result in diarrhea and wet tail. If not treated in time, these issues can lead to your hamster’s death. So, on noticing any of these problems, contact the vet immediately.

For the prevention of such problems, sufficient intake of dietary fiber is necessary. Fiber plays a vital role in:

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  • Regulation of lipids for lowering heart-related diseases.
  • Reduces inflammation.
  • Maintains metabolism.
  • Manages levels of angiogenic proteins for stabilizing the growth of new blood cells.

Hamsters can get dietary fiber from oats, fruits, and vegetables.

Do note that too much vitamin D, calcium, and protein (above 20%) can lead to some organ injuries in hamsters. So, you should give a balanced diet to your hamster.

Other Factors That Can Help You Extend The Life Expectancy Of A Hamster

  • Hamster is an active creature that needs plenty of exercise throughout its life. It has got tremendous energy and a running wheel can help it exercise and live a long healthy life.
  • Provide your pet with excellent care and a proper place to live. Hamsters need sufficient space to roam around due to their hyperactive nature. 
  • Cleanliness of your hamster’s cage is also necessary to avoid any illness due to exposure to feces and other bacteria.
  • If you have one of those hamster species who like to live solitary, avoid housing two hamsters together. 
  • As hamsters are prey animals, they tend to be stressed due to the fear of any predators. A continuous stressful environment can make your pet feel nippy and irritated. So, provide a stress-free environment to your hamster where it can feel safe and comfortable.

Final Words

When it comes to the lifespan of a hamster, you can enjoy the company of your cute little friend for a few years only. A hamster has an average lifespan of 2 to 3 years which varies according to the species you choose to pet and various other factors which we discussed above.

As hamster owners, we all want our pets to live a long, happy, and comfortable life. So, to make sure your hamster has a long and healthy lifespan, you need to take care of its diet, lifestyle, quality of care, illness, hygiene, and other necessary factors. A checkup from the vet from time to time and proper care when the hamster gets sick is also essential.